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Oil falls on China economic data, output cuts support

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

LONDON – Oil prices fell on Friday after China reported slower economic growth, pointing to lower fuel demand in the world’s biggest oil importer, although market sentiment was supported by supply cuts agreed last week by major crude producers.

Brent crude was down 55 cents at $60.90 per barrel by 1139 GMT, on course for a decline this week of around 1 percent. U.S. light crude was 35 cents lower at $52.23.

“The energy complex is on the back foot this morning as a batch of soft Chinese economic data triggers a flurry of pre-weekend profit-taking,” PVM Oil analyst Stephen Brennock said.

“This pullback provides a timely reminder that current levels of upside potential are meek at best.”

China, the world’s No.2 economy, on Friday reported some of its slowest growth in retail sales and industrial output in years, highlighting the risks of its trade dispute with the United States.

Chinese oil refinery throughput in November fell from October, suggesting an easing in oil demand, though runs were 2.9 percent above year-ago levels.

Concerned by mounting oversupply, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other oil producers including Russia agreed last week to reduce output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd), or more than 1 percent of global demand.



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